Florida Police Officer Slams Woman into Car, Goes to Jail
(PENSACOLA, Fla.) -- A veteran cop was fired and charged with criminal battery after officers reviewed a video of him slamming a woman into her car in Pensacola, Fla.
"We have certain expectations of our police officers, and when I looked at the video, I was disappointed because I felt like that didn't stand up to those expectations," Pensacola Police Chief Chip Simmons told ABC News. "We determined that what we saw on the video was inconsistent with what our policies allow and what state statute allows."
Dash cam footage from Aug. 2 shows Officer Christopher Geraci telling Abbi Bonds to get back in her car before he grabs her left arm and swings her body into the side of the car, causing her to fall to her knees and bang her chin against the vehicle.
"I'm not fighting you," Bonds, 29, is heard saying as he cuffs her. "Why are you hitting me?"
Geraci had been responding to a hit-and-run, and a witness identified Bonds as a driver who struck two vehicles with her white Chevrolet before driving away, according to the police report. When Geraci found Bonds, her car was disabled and had red and grey paint on it that matched the other two cars she allegedly hit, according to the report.
"When I made contact with Bonds, she immediately began stating that someone took her car and she was chasing it down the road on foot," Geraci wrote in the report.
He added that he could smell alcohol on her breath, had watery eyes and slurred speech. After the alleged slamming incident, Bonds submitted to field sobriety tests and performed poorly, according to police reports. Geraci arrested her and took her to Escambia County Jail. She also told him, "I was trying to crank the car when I found it."
She was charged with leaving the scene of an accident, failure to yield, no proof of insurance and driving under the influence.
Complying with department policy, Geraci, 33, filled out a use of force report for the incident. Geraci's supervisor reviewed the dash cam footage to comply with protocol, and officials made their decision about his employment. Bonds did not call in a complaint to the department.
Geraci, who could not be reached for comment, was fired last Friday and charged with battery. He was taken to Escambia County Jail, but was later released on his own recognizance, records show. He does not yet have an arraignment date.
Bonds, who was arrested on Aug. 2, said injuries from her encounter with Geraci include a swollen knee and jaw pain. She said doctors think she may have suffered a concussion as well.
She admitted that she was on the phone when Geraci told her to get back in the car, but said he didn't listen to her when she told him someone had stolen her car.
"He just totally lost control as a police officer and beat the crap out of me using way beyond excessive force to a female," Bonds said.
Bonds had been on parole, she said. Records show she was charged with four felonies for possession of a controlled substance without a prescription in 2010.
Geraci had been a Pensacola police officer since 2004 and was a member of the K-9 unit.
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